Utilization Of Focused Antenatal Care Among Expectant Women Aged 18-49 Years In Murang’a County, Kenya
Mutai, Kiplangat Titus
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Focused Antenatal Care (FANC) is crucial to improving maternal and infant health. Survey data from sub-Saharan Africa indicates that most women initiate FANC visits after the first trimester and hence do not achieve the recommended number of visits. Despite various efforts by the government of Kenya towards reduction of maternal and neonatal morbidities and mortalities, these conditions remain the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in Murung’a.The main objective of the study was to examine the determinants of Focused Antenatal Care among expectant women aged 18-49 years in Murang’a County. This study therefore sought to examine how individual, organization and policy factors influence the utilization of focused antenatal care services amongst women in Gatanga sub county, Murang’a County, Kenya. Data for this cross-sectional study were conducted between June and July 2019, using a stratified sampling technique from 3 selected wards. Structured questionnaire was administered to 334 women of reproductive age, aged 18 years and above, who delivered within the past one year or above 38 weeks of gestation. Key informant interviews and focus group discussions were conducted to obtain additional information on the factors that influence utilization of ANC services. Observation checklist was also used to assess service provision readiness at various sites. Data was analyzed using SPSS version 22 and presented in summary tables. Descriptive statistics and chi-square tests at 5% level of significance was used to examine the influence of predictors of FANC. The findings indicated that 37.3% of respondents had visited the FANC clinic. Level of education (X2(12)= 16.05; p < 0.05), occupation (X2(3)= 16.50; p < 0.05) level of income (X2(4)= 15.53; p < 0.05) time taken to the facility (X2(3)= 34.72; p < 0.05) and waiting time (X2(3)= 14.17; p < 0.05) were found to significantly influence utilization of FANC services. Women therefore should be empowered through education and economic activities so that they are able to support themselves and obtain the necessary services they need. Full implementation of free maternity services should be enforced in all health facilities and increase insurance coverage to all mothers. The Government should also improve access to health care especially in rural areas by building new health facilities increase human resource to enable service provision all days in a week to ensure adequate utilization of focused antenatal care services.